Are We All Doomed to Become Our Parents?
Terrified he’s becoming just like his father, Wyatt Lewis, a disillusioned millennial, breaks up with his fiancée to chase his childhood dream – a fresh start in Southern California.
Once in San Diego, Wyatt reunites with an old friend, Summer Harrison, while falling hard for the elusive and free-spirited, Leah Murphy. Summer and Leah show Wyatt a dazzling world littered with lavish speakeasies, egregious drug use, and overpriced cocktails. Surrounded by fake glamor and stuck in a terrible corporate job, Wyatt’s escape turns into his worst nightmare.
Overworked, alone, and filled with regret, the aspiring writer spirals down a self-destructive path that forces him to confront the violent past he ran away to California to forget. In his raw, hilarious, and dark debut novel, Brian Price showcases our world, on the verge of the COVID-19 pandemic, through the eyes of a sarcastic and stubborn narrator as he attempts to drown his family’s demons.
Plot/Idea: Price delivers a wryly humorous story of Wyatt Lewis, who unapologetically loves the hedonistic side of sun-drenched Southern California.
Prose: The prose is straightforward, clear, and sprinkled with candid reflections on life as a millennial on the brink of a pandemic.
Originality: Stories of youthful indiscretion and efforts to escape from a painful family legacy are commonplace. Price's novel stands out for its vivid setting, tragi-comedy, and the protagonist's pigheadedness, despite disappointment upon disappointment.
Character Development/Execution: Wyatt is a man whose development is subtle, yet deeply resonant. Price effectively creates a wide cast of characters that embody the spirit of reckless indulgence and ultimate sense of loneliness that pervades the story.
Date Submitted: April 27, 2022
5.0 out of 5
A book that keeps your entrenched in the story from the first page
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2021
Last Chance California is a story about a guy who risked it all to live out his dream. Plagued by generational child abuse and heartbreak, influenced by the occassional drunken stupor or drug induced trip, the author leads you on a tale that keeps you hooked from begining to end.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Couldn't put it down
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2021
This was an easy read about how generational abuse can affect your life as you meander through adulthood. While the topic is tough, the writer uses humor to describe his daily life in California. It was easy to get caught up on and hard to put down.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brian Price great author! Funny and tells it like it is.
Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2021
Fast read. Really keeps you wondering what is coming next. Great author!
5.0 out of 5 stars
witty, funny, honest
Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2021
I came across this book from a recommendation from a friend who loved it. Quite emotional at some points but basically about a man who tries to escape family and generational trauma to live "the life" in California. At first it seems like paradise...but the lavish (and a stark contrast from his past) is never truly healed by a state alone. But the stories and experiences along the way are hilarious and realistic (personally being from San Diego and the same age as the authorI can say I completely relate to a lot of the stories). Very well written (kind of reminds me of David Duchovny type style). I read the entire book in a day. 10/10!
4.0 out of 5 stars
A story, that at it’s core is about generational abuse and one man’s journey to escape it. A colorful cast of characters rounds out this tale, which asks whether you can ever really run from the past.
Last Chance California, a dark humor and contemporary fiction novel, showcases our world, on the verge of the COVID-19 pandemic, through the eyes of a sarcastic and stubborn millennial as he attempts to break his family's cycle of abuse. That's just a romantic way of saying a depressed and lost man goes full-blown alcoholic after moving to California to escape the clutches of his abuser.
"I'm no different than any of the other fools who transformed into Hemingway during lockdown," said Brian Price, the guy who wrote the book. "But have you seen all the trash that is getting published these days? How many politician's memoirs do we really need? And why does everyone think the way to grow a brand is to release a book as a thought expert? Last Chance California isn't as horrible as all that garbage, but then again I wrote the book, so I'm biased."
The dark humor story follows a disillusioned millennial who moves to California after realizing he's more like his abusive father than he realizes. There's romance, sex, drugs, exotic locations, depression, and substance abuse rampant through the novel. So much so, the author prays nightly that his book sells because if it doesn't, Price believes he will have a hard time finding work in Corporate America, considering the shenanigans in his book. And the fact his novel demolishes America's corporate culture.
"It's fiction with a little bit of my own journey sprinkled in," Price said. "At first, I described the book as a coming-of-age novel, but the book police who patrol the interwebs reprimanded me and told me only child or teenage protagonists can be the main character in those novels. But I think that's a bunch of crap. Coming of age doesn't have a set age or expiration date."
But in all seriousness, Last Chance California highlights some of the glaring deficiencies in our society while also reminding readers of the complexity of families, the imperfections of humans, and the burdens we carry every day.
"I'm dry and sarcastic because I like attention, but the heart of my story is child abuse and the lifelong effects of it," Price said. "There's a negative stigma around child abuse. It's worse when victims want to come forward about the truth. I felt shame and guilt … my entire life. I never knew why. I didn't realize my childhood wasn't normal until I was in my thirties. And once I discovered I was abused, things got worse. A lot worse. Memories flooded my brain and I found ways to blame myself for the horror I experienced. The abuse hurt me way beyond my childhood years. It was still continuing to affect my life every day. It's sad that I know I'm not alone in these feelings."
"Every news release is supposed to end with a call-to-action to get you to a website to drive internet traffic or to convince you to buy my products, which you totally should, but more importantly, I'm also asking for people to start speaking up when they see neglect and abuse directed at a child. I'm not condoning or asking anyone to be violent or aggressive toward another human. It's also not our job to tell people how to parent, but it's everyone's job to speak out and protect the innocent. If one adult spoke up for me, my life could have been a lot different."
About Last Chance California
Terrified he's becoming just like his father, Wyatt Lewis, a disillusioned millennial, breaks up with his fiancée to chase his childhood dream – a fresh start in Southern California.
Once in San Diego, Wyatt reunites with an old friend, Summer Harrison, while falling hard for the elusive and free-spirited, Leah Murphy. Summer and Leah show Wyatt a dazzling world littered with lavish speakeasies, egregious drug use, and overpriced cocktails. Surrounded by fake glamor and stuck in a terrible corporate job, Wyatt's escape turns into his worst nightmare.
Overworked, alone, and filled with regret, the aspiring writer spirals down a self-destructive path that forces him to confront the violent past he ran away to California to forget.
Last Chance California is released on December 21, 2021. The novel is available as a paperback and on Kindle Unlimited. Purchase the book here.
About Brian Price
Brian Price worked in the marketing and communications industry for nearly a decade. The Public Relations Society of America, American Business Awards, and Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals are a few of the organizations that awarded his work.
But who actually cares about that?
He certainly doesn't.
Sick of bookshelves being stuffed with bureaucrats' memoirs and snake-oil entrepreneurs using novels as sales funnels, Brian wrote a real story and named it Last Chance California.
If he isn't reading or writing, Brian is probably playing with his rescue pup, Bucky, or ranting about the government. Brian and his pup still reside in his mother's basement in Southern New Jersey.
You can read more from Brian at brianvstheworld.com